Last week, our girl Patti Smith announced that she was planning a sequel to her critically-acclaimed memoir Just Kids, which won the 2010 National Book award for nonfiction. We’re psyched that the punk revolutionary plans to keep writing, and in addition to making us play Horses on repeat, her announcement got us thinking about other musicians and writers who wield both guitar and pen. Here are five author/musicians whose written words are as interesting as those they sing.
You’ve no doubt heard Nick Cave’s unique brand of dark, bluesy rock, but what you may not know is that the Australian singer-songwriter has authored several books (also dark and bluesy). He published his first novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel, in 1988, and has also written many poems and short stories. Cave’s most recent work is 2009’s The Death of Bunny Monro, which tells the tale of a cheating door-to-door salesman who takes to the road following his wife’s suicide. Not the lightest fare, but Nick Cave fans will appreciate the novel— it’s as beautiful and strange as his music.
Oh Alice Cooper, you crazy bastard. When he’s not incorporating guillotines into his show or taking the stage with a live boa constrictor wrapped around his neck, the shock rocker is hitting the links and working on his short game. That’s the inspiration behind his 2007 book Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: A Rock’n'Roller’s 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict. “Some people turn to God, I turned to golf,” he told the Telegraph in 2007. He even has a handicap of seven, which we hear is pretty darn good. And apparently, it makes for a good read. Go figure.
Fall Out Boy’s notorious bassist says that his 2004 book The Boy With The Thorn in his Side is aimed at kids ages 5-9. But here’s the catch: it’s based on nightmares Wentz had as a child. Yeaahhh, no thanks. As much as we love terrifying small children—and we really do—this just doesn’t sound like the best idea.
In September of 2003, Continuum Books started publishing a series of books written by musicians and music journalists about the albums that have had an impact on them. The result is a varied, eclectic mix of musings that range in style from Matthew Lemay’s thesis-like assessment of Elliott Smith’s XO to Joe Pernice’s fictional tale based on The Smiths’ Meat is Murder. So if you’ve ever hoped to hear John Darnielle’s take on Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality (the diminutive folk-rocker loves metal, in case you were wondering) or wanted to understand The Replacements’ Let It Be as interpreted by Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy, this series is definitely worth checking out.
Yep, you read that right. He’s the champion of creepy, master of mystery, the reason we’re still terrified of clowns… and the rhythm guitarist for a band known as Rock Bottom Remainders. The all-writer rock group has been playing together since ’92, and in that time they’ve raised more than $1.5 million for reading and writing charities. It’s a nice try Mr. King, but we’re not fooled by this good-guy charity act. You’re still a scary, scary man.